Skin on or skin off? What's your favorite and why?
Extra Credit: If you went through the effort of making a roulade, make sure you share photos of it so I can enjoy it too!
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Cooks: 141°F (60.6°C) for 3 to 8 hours • Serves: 4 to 8
If you are looking for a more upscale presentation, then a turkey roulade is hard to beat. It's also very flavorful, because the middle of the meat is seasoned. A roulade is simple meat that has been seasoned, then rolled up and cooked. I first saw a version of this recipe by Kenji, on Serious Eats and it has become a favorite of mine.
A turkey roulade is often wrapped in the turkey skin to add a layer of crispness to the outside, and to help hold it together. If you are doing this, you want to try and remove the skin whole across both breasts, which works best when using a whole turkey, or a whole turkey crown.
The inside is filled with spices and seasonings, you can follow my recipe or use any that you prefer on your turkey. You can also add a filling of some kind, such as dried cherries, mushrooms, or other combinations. If you really want to ensure it sticks together, you can sprinkle the inside with Activa RM before rolling it to make a seamless version.
This recipe calls for a "whole" breast, which is the entire top of a turkey, and includes two breasts. If you are not using the skin, then you can easily make a smaller roulade with an individual breast. This also works well with dark meat, especially if you debone a leg and thigh combination. Just increase the temperature up to 148°F (64.4°C).
To sear, it helps to either use a torch, or use more oil than you usually would. Because the roulade is cylindrical, having more oil helps cover more of the meat. You can also deep fry it, which is especially effective if you want to crisp up the skin. Just be careful, as the skin can pop and splatter as it cooks.
For the Sous Vide Turkey Roulade
- 1 whole turkey breast or turkey crown, skin on
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Zest from 1 lemon
For the Sous Vide Turkey Roulade
Remove the skin from the breast in one piece. Remove each half of the breast in one piece and remove any bones from the meat. Butterfly each the breast half, so they lay relatively flat. Lay out the skin and place the breast halves on it, making a layer of about even thickness.
Cut shallow slices into the meat, about 1" (25mm) apart. Salt and pepper the meat, then rub in the sage, thyme, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Line up the left side of the skin with the left side of the turkey breast and then roll it tightly into a cylinder, trying to keep the skin on the outside of the roll until the end.
Tie the cylinder using butcher's twine to keep it together, or you can also use food- and heat-safe wrap if you prefer.
Add the turkey breast roll to a sous vide bag and lightly seal, trying not to smash it. Ideally, let the turkey sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 to 24 hours for the dry brine to take effect.
Preheat the water bath to 141°F (60.6°C).
Place the sous vide bag in the water bath and cook for 3 to 8 hours, until pasteurized, or tenderized.
Take the sous vide bag out of the water bath. Remove the turkey porchetta from the bag and dry off thoroughly with a paper towel or dish cloth. Quickly sear the turkey, until just browned and the skin begins to get crispy, then remove it from the heat. Slice into rounds and serve.